Shhhhh in the Courtroom! Bankruptcy Court Goes Digital

Imagine how much more polite people will have to be in the Southern District of Florida Bankruptcy Courts.  Next week, all the Bankruptcy Courts in Florida will no longer have live people as court reporter.  Instead, technology will take over this job.

Today, the Bankruptcy Bar received an email from the Bankruptcy Court advising of the following:

On August 1, 2015, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida [Miami Division] will transition to digital audio recording (DAR) of all court proceedings.  The courtroom technology selected is ForTheRecord (FTR). Installation of new hardware and software necessary to accommodate DAR has been completed district-wide in the Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach bankruptcy courtrooms.  For an interim period, requests for transcripts will continue to be submitted to the court-approved transcript reporting company, Ouellette and Mauldin until such time as we have had an opportunity to accept and review solicitations from transcription companies interested in being added to the court-approved list.

As a reminder, we ask that you become familiar DAR etiquette and get in the habit of following these basic guidelines when appearing in all bankruptcy courtrooms:

1) Speak clearly and audibly into the microphones. Only one person at a time should be speaking,

2) Each time you speak, please identify yourself by stating your name and the party(s) whom you represent. Spell difficult names for the record,

3) The DAR is extremely sensitive to sounds. All side conversations in the courtroom may be recorded.

Please direct inquiries to:

Transition to Digital Audio Recording (DAR).

This should make reading transcripts easier, once all the litigants remember to always state their name for the record before they speak.  Now speaking slowly and clearly into the microphone is going to be important in order to have a clear record.  It is not a natural thing to speak that way.

Luckily, the bankruptcy courts are a little less crowded these days.  Now speaking slowly and clearly into the microphone is going to be important in order to have a clear record.

I expect that like so many other changes that have been incorporated into the local bankruptcy practice, this will be incorporated also, and our local bankruptcy bar will adapt.

Eric N. Assouline

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